Chinese Supercars

Published on Author Juan

Notorious for stealing body styles, the Chinese automotive industry is quickly becoming the definitive source for unabashed design plagiarism. That’s why Beijing Automotive Industry Holding Co (BAIC) recently hired former Ferrari designer Leonardo Fioravanti, albeit as a consultant.

Still, it’s an intriguing move that could signal the possibility of some interesting supercars coming from one of the world’s key economic powerhouses. Supercars aren’t particularly new for BAIC. In late 2010 the company put a bid in to buy Pininfarina, an Italian design firm known for designing Ferraris, among many others. Italian-designed cars are becoming a common theme among the ilk of BAIC including Beijing Automotive, Chery, Brilliance and First Auto Works.

Solidifying a relationship with a former Ferrari designer continues that theme and takes it in an exciting direction, even if he’s only working as a consultant. Fioravanti worked for 24 years with Pininfarina, so its reasonable to expect distinctly Ferrari-inspired influence in spades at this year’s Beijing Auto Show, BAIC included.

2 Responses to Chinese Supercars

  1. It will be interesting to see if Chinese companies will be able to build supercars that people in the western world actually want to buy. A big part of buying supercars is the tradition and status of the established brands, so it will be hard for a new Chinese firm to compete with the likes of Ferrari, Lamborghini, Porsche, etc. Personally, I doubt a Chinese supercar manufacturer will ever be able to compete with Italian and German brands, but I suspect (if they can put a quality product together) they can become very popular domestically. China as a nation has a lot of history and tradition, and I’m confident that rich Chinese people will take pride in some day buying fast, expensive cars that their own country produces.

  2. Lots of small companies build supercars; other than collectors all but the most driven car fanatics [pun intended] don’t know their names. Anyone with sufficient money can buy what’s needed to make a supercar. Sufficient is important, as by and large these companies lose money. As to “Ferrari influenced” the real phrase might be “Fioravanti influenced” for both Ferrari and (down the road) SAIC. His services are (legally) for hire.